Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

9 December 2013
Electoral Reform as a Litmus-Test

An administration’s reform-mindedness or reform-orientation will be determined by its demonstrated commitment to reforming the ways by which power in government is constituted, with the elections being the most basic formal mechanism to give and enable such power.

26 November 2013
On the SC's Role in Resolving the DAP Issue

The DAP is a sensible fiscal discipline mechanism provided that possible abuses of discretion in its use will be avoided. In identifying which projects and programs to cancel, the executive must have a clear performance standards to use which can be checked. In re-allocating savings (as defined by law), the projects and programs to be funded must be items in the GAA or items that will pass through legislative enactment. 

24 November 2013
The significance of the pork barrel ruling

The decision on the PDAF should be appreciated as the start of even bigger fights ahead

4 November 2013
Getting a Hold of the Politics of Reform

The politics of reforms has a rich history that traces its roots from those who fought for this country’s independence, speaks of great sacrifices for the love of country and involves engagements and bonds of individuals, groups and networks that have been here continuously posing a challenge to the status quo—the alternative stride of this country’s nation-building. The politics of reforms is now by itself a tradition that rests on the values of solidarity, participation, inclusivity, empowerment, discourse and dialogue. Arguably, the politics of reform has given birth to the government we have now.

9 October 2013
Pork as an Institutional Crisis

It is time for the relevant accountability institutions, namely the Commission on Audit (COA), the Department of Justice, the Ombudsman, the Sandiganbayan and the courts, to step up and prove worthy of the powers vested upon them. These institutions are the ones with the strongest mandate to get to the bottom of the Napoles and the Malampaya scams and start the process of investigating other abuses of pork allocations.Collapse of Checks-and-Balance

In the meantime, there is a need to abolish the pork system--the real pork system. 

2 October 2013
DAP as a Breakdown of Checks-and-Balance

Checks-and-balance relationship between the executive and the legislature collapses because the legislators partake a responsibility of the executive. As such, they become subsumed under the President being the head of the executive branch in the execution of the budget--a violation of the separation of powers.

That checks-and-balance relationship exist for a reason: it is precisely to prevent actions of the executive that could already be beyond and abusive of its powers. Because this could happen intentionally or unintentionally.

It is possible that because of the intention to serve (to provide resources for priority programs and meet the needs of the people), the executive overlooked (intentionally or unintentionally) a legal provision.

30 September 2013
Marcos, Lean Alejandro, and the power of the written word

Ferdinand Marcos and Lean Alejandro were two Martial Law figures who approached writing in markedly different ways

18 September 2013
IT for Transparency as a Deterrent

Those in government might want to challenge themselves more as to how the use of information technolgy (IT) as a means for transparency can serve as a DETERRENT to abuse and malpractice, especially by the most powerful officials, which is a faster way to advance accountability.

16 September 2013
Key Info from and Points to Ponder on the Napoles Scam Complaint

This Complaint should be our opportunity to show we can hold power to account. It should also be an opportunity for us to bring the integrity of our political system. This Complaint should strengthen our call to ABOLISH PORK!

6 September 2013
10 Ways Forward to Totally Dismantle Pork

Our anti-pork calls go beyond just the scraping of that item in the budget called Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). It is about bringing back the integrity of our political system. It is about nurturing a culture of transparency and accountability. It is about making public office a public trust once more. It is about ending patronage politics, which perpetuates disempowerment and dependency of the masses and the rule of the few.